Bruce Boggs' story below was submitted to Rotary and for publication on Richland Source.
On a peaceful May Sunday morning in 2019, the Boggs family was traveling home from church and ready to enjoy the day with family.
While traveling home on State Route 96 heading to Shelby, a pick-up truck blew through a stop sign and collided with the Boggs family van. The driver of the truck was a 25-year-old who was under the influence at the time.
Both vehicles ended up upside down. One infant was pronounced dead at the scene and 12-year-old Faith passed away a week later. Mrs. Boggs suffered multiple injuries, including trauma to the brain, and lost an unborn child in the crash. Mrs. Boggs would pass away from her injuries one year later.
Mr. Boggs and Shelby High School freshmen, Bruce, were also seriously injured in the crash.
Bruce was a member of the Shelby High School track team and a successful student. A spinal injury meant that Bruce would no longer be able to compete with his friends on the Whippet track team, although he attempted to at least practice with the team his sophomore year.
Unfortunately, COVID wiped out his sophomore season. Since then, Bruce has had spinal surgery to repair damage to his nerves and vertebrae. He also suffered a facial injury in the crash that required another surgery.
Bruce is now completing his second year in the College Now Engineering program at North Central State College. He will graduate from high school with an Associate Degree and plans on pursuing an Engineering degree, possibly at The Ohio State University.
Bruce Boggs, and the entire Boggs family, has had to endure tragedy that very few of us can imagine. Bruce has persevered and has not let the physical and emotional injuries from the accident stop him.
The particular intersection where the accident occurred has been the site of numerous other accidents, including other fatal accidents. The Boggs family has made it a goal to make the intersection safer for all drivers.
Since the accident, the intersection has been paved and rumble strips installed to warn drivers to stop ahead. This determination to help others in spite of undergoing a terrible tragedy epitomizes the incredible attitude that Bruce and his family have had since the accident.
There is no doubt that Bruce Boggs will be successful in whatever he attempts. His determination along with being able to empathize with others will serve him well. Shelby High School is pleased to select Bruce Boggs as our 2022 Rotary Club McGowan Courage Award recipient.